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View Full Version : Portable Gaming Becoming Less So



Judicant
07-29-2012, 11:02 AM
Lately the pair of AA batteries I carry around in my laptop case has been bothering me, and it's finally dawned on me that they've sat in there, unused, for a couple years now. I look at them and I am reminded of a day that seems to have passed me by, and I'm not really pleased to see it go.

I remember the days where if I was going in a trip and wanted to keep myself entertained on the way there, all I needed was my GameBoy Color and a brick of AA's. You could guarantee entertainment for days with no trace of civilization so long as you had a healthy supply of batteries and a handheld console, instead of relying on a electrical plug for a console meant for home use. This was genius, this was the savior of all bored children on roadtrips!

But despite taking many steps forward in gaming, we seem to have stepped backwards on this front. These batteries in my bag are a reminders that nothing I use seems to need them anymore. Instead, gamers on the go are shackled electrical outlets, and if you go too long without one you are left with a paper weight. The convenience of carrying around your own little reserve of power cells is gone, it seems.

I can understand why we've moved this way, I'm just sad to see the old way go. We traded our batteries away for things like backlit screens, 3D environments, higher quality audio, and other performance enhancements, but we've given away some of the freedom that a handheld console used to give us.

So I guess it's goodbye to the era of expendable batteries. You've done a great job over the years saving me from the slow bits of life, but the world seems to be moving on.

FishNChips
07-29-2012, 11:05 AM
Yeah, I miss using a pair of batteries for my old Gameboy. Now it's all rechargable things.

However, the PSP has a rechargable battery pack that can be removed and be replaced. Sure, they're rechargeable only and are more expensive, but at least it manages to increase the longevity of your console whilst on a trip or something.

Rakuen Growlithe
07-29-2012, 11:26 AM
Well you can now get adapters to charge phones, consoles and laptops by plugging them into your car. It's an extra thing you need to buy but you're not too likely to be away from the car for too long. If you're going on a proper hike I don't think you're going to want to carry around electronic devices which will be more to carry. Or maybe you would, either way I don't think many people do that.

oneandonly
07-29-2012, 11:29 AM
Yeah, those days were nice, but now we have rechargeable batteries. My tablet lasts over 12 hours on a 4 hour charge. I use it pretty often for gaming (GTA III), but instead of being just for gaming, it can let me do (limited) work, check my accounts, and all sorts of other stuff. If worse did come to worse though, and power was lost, it wouldn't be too hard to mod it to take alkaline batteries, but it wouldn't be easy.

catwithpen
07-29-2012, 12:58 PM
This makes me sad. I haven't had a game boy in years, and I've been thinking of getting one again, but it looks like they don't make them any more :( I don't want the new DS, I want something simple like I used to have. I don't see why they can't keep making both the old and new tech at the same time.

Tiger
07-29-2012, 01:07 PM
It's also irritating to need to carry a charger everywhere in case my DS battery dies. I always take it with me to a friend's house or the coffee shop we hang out at. POlus the fact that every system has a different charger, so I can't bring my 3DS to my friend's house and expect him to have a charger for it because he has a Lit,e not 3DS.

It's all sorts of inconvenience :c

Aetius
07-29-2012, 06:13 PM
My laptop's battery likes to die on me, it only lasts about 3 hours without its charger.

Yay for semi-portable gaming.

piņardilla
07-29-2012, 06:36 PM
My old Game Gear used to suck down 6 AA's in a matter of hours. It could be worse.

Ibuuyk
07-29-2012, 07:20 PM
I don't really mind. The longest trip you usually do around here is going to Montreal, and that takes six hours and half at most, so I just bring my PSP and 3DS (got one of dem expansion battery pack for the 3DS that almost doubles its battery length).

I'm good for about 10-11 hours with these two babies alone, and if I ever go on a longer trip, I can just bring my GBA SP and add another 5-6 hours!

If all else fails, then I'll finally have time to read books :V

Drifloon
07-30-2012, 06:48 AM
I charge my PSP and 3DS well in advance and they last me four days at the most. My iphone on the other hand drinks battery life like its water (so glad I am getting an Android phone soon)

Sinjo
07-30-2012, 09:55 AM
As much as it depresses me to say so, portable gaming has just taken another form. It's on phones now. Far more casual and far spread.

Judicant
07-30-2012, 10:01 AM
As much as it depresses me to say so, portable gaming has just taken another form. It's on phones now. Far more casual and far spread.

I only play Koi-Koi on my phone, and Words with Friends, when I'm bored in a car or something. (Or I chat with the staff nerds here, whichever~)

I PREFER REAL GAMES.

Sinjo
07-30-2012, 10:26 AM
I only play Koi-Koi on my phone, and Words with Friends, when I'm bored in a car or something. (Or I chat with the staff nerds here, whichever~)

I PREFER REAL GAMES.

I play GTA 3 and minecraft when I get bored in the car.

Are you saying those aren't real games?

Judicant
07-30-2012, 11:25 AM
I play GTA 3 and minecraft when I get bored in the car.

Are you saying those aren't real games?

Not on a phone they're not. :v

Sinjo
07-30-2012, 11:29 AM
They're the full on games, so they kinda are.

Lee
07-30-2012, 04:33 PM
I really haven't noticed a change in portable gaming... But it might be because I don't have as much time for it any more... And the vast amount of gaming devices I carry on me. At any given moment when going out, I have at least my phone and, if I bring my backpack, my iPad, DS, and 3DS. ... Which makes me sound like a huge nerd, lmao. But yeah. I tend to have less time to sit around and more of an interest in other stuff like just listening to music and writing, so my gaming time is so cramped (and I waste such large amounts of time on shitty casual games like Where's My Water) that I hardly even notice portable gaming's supposed decline.

I mean all things considered I really only sit down to play with my handhelds when I'm like, at home on the couch any more. D:

piņardilla
07-31-2012, 02:46 PM
They're the full on games, so they kinda are.

How do you manage the controls?

Sinjo
07-31-2012, 03:24 PM
How do you manage the controls?

On screen. They work well.

Judicant
07-31-2012, 04:11 PM
On screen. They work well.

This is why I don't like phone gaming, tbh, because I need the feedback from a physical button or stick or whatever. It's also the only gripe I had with using a graphics tablet back when I drew things, because you just didn't get the sensation of resistance from pen/pencil meeting paper when you use them (undo is a godsend though).

Sinjo
07-31-2012, 04:16 PM
This is why I don't like phone gaming, tbh, because I need the feedback from a physical button or stick or whatever. It's also the only gripe I had with using a graphics tablet back when I drew things, because you just didn't get the sensation of resistance from pen/pencil meeting paper when you use them (undo is a godsend though).

There's very little stopping people from making a controller that docks with a phone. The biggest problem for android phones is the different designs.

Taelune
07-31-2012, 08:54 PM
Well not necessarily, I have a solar charger for my Gamerboy, MP3, and Cell when I'm camping (MP3 to tune out my brother, and cell for emergencies) So even though we do not use batteries as much, they have made more environmentally friendly alternatives. ^^

BudgieBin
08-04-2012, 08:54 AM
I dunno, standard batteries cause a lot of toxic waste, and while there are ways to recycle them and dispose of them properly, most people just don't bother. I buy rechargables, because even though the initial investment is more expensive, they have many charge cycles and last longer than a year.

I use batteries mostly for my wireless mouse & keyboard, older model digital camera and wireless game controllers, which last for weeks if not a few months between charges (less so for the camera, that thing's a hog). I also have some old portable consoles, but since I generally support emulation for convenience (My DS Brick can play GBA, GB/GBC, SNES, Genesis, and NES) and I also wish to keep these consoles working and in good condition for as long as I can, they don't see much use.

Fact is lithium ion batteries are incredibly useful and last much longer than a standard rechargable, and for over a longer time period.

I did a quick Google and it appears that the thin, specialized batteries that are made for things like my phone and DS may not actually have separate chargers like you can get for standardized AA batteries and so forth. HOWEVER:

If a DS lasts 5-8 hours on one charge, then it stands to reason that buying extra batteries (about $5 each) and charging those in preparation for a long trip will last even longer. 3 batteries will last you a full 24 hours of gameplay, and you only need 4 hours to charge each battery. Unless you can find an external charger, it IS kind of inconvenient, but if you know you are going for a long trip, you can plan ahead in advance. Once you get to your destination, (assuming you have electricity) you can repeat the process, or if you're in a car, you can also get a car charger for just about anything (though it is generally slower than charging through a wall)

The Game Boy (6-battery, then 4) could last anywhere from 10 to 30 hours per set (according to Nintendo) because of a non-backlit, monochrome screen and a low-powered 8-bit processor. "Fancier" handhelds like the 6-battery Game Gear, which featured full color and 16-bit graphics, needed new batteries after about 5 hours. That is a LOT of waste and a lot of recurring investment if you're not using any form of rechargable battery. Not to mention the risk of nasty explosions if you're a dumb kid like me and ignore the safety warnings to get just a little more life out of your batteries.

The fact that any portable console today can get at least 5 hours out of a li-ion battery, with backlit screens, wifi access and full 3D rendering is frankly pretty goddamn amazing. Imagine how inconvenient the "old" batteries would be... and if we didn't have the newer technology, how absolutely inferior console gaming and mobile technology would have to remain.

Judicant
08-05-2012, 10:00 AM
There's very little stopping people from making a controller that docks with a phone. The biggest problem for android phones is the different designs.

The problem is, especially for touchscreen phones which is where the world is headed, any controller would have to convert screen touch controls into physical buttons. For this, it's not as simple as making a controller that says "Up = Up Arrow, Button 1 = Mouse 1, etc", you'd inevitably have to get the makers of the games to update their software to support it. Given that a controller would likely end up being a piece of 3rd party hardware, it's adoption would be fairly limited and short-lived.

You also have to consider games that utilize a gyro, which I mean sure you could incorporate into a controller, but the more you start adding to it the more it's going to end up costing. x_x

Sinjo
08-08-2012, 12:45 AM
Oh look what I have here.

http://thegameklip.com/

FancySkunk
08-08-2012, 12:49 PM
I don't necessarily think the move away from batteries was a bad one. Two AA batteries never seem to last as long as I wanted to back when I was doing marathon sessions of Pokemon Blue or Gold, and there was always the inconvenience of actually needing to turn the game of to get the system powered again. My perspective is probably warped though. My parents got absolutely sick of buying batteries for me, and bought me a big chargeable battery pack.

I don't ever feel tethered or dependent on wall outlets, but I also don't tend to go on incredibly long trips.

Sinjo
08-08-2012, 03:20 PM
I don't necessarily think the move away from batteries was a bad one. Two AA batteries never seem to last as long as I wanted to back when I was doing marathon sessions of Pokemon Blue or Gold, and there was always the inconvenience of actually needing to turn the game of to get the system powered again. My perspective is probably warped though. My parents got absolutely sick of buying batteries for me, and bought me a big chargeable battery pack.

I don't ever feel tethered or dependent on wall outlets, but I also don't tend to go on incredibly long trips.

Well, couple that with the fact that batteries have gotten a lot better in recent years and back then, it took a lot of power to run those color and even non color screens. I don't think it was perspective. Those types of batteries don't tend to last longer than the newer cell batteries.

Some people still think you should let your cell phone's batteries die before you charge it or that once in a while you need to let it die out completely.

Kazekai
08-09-2012, 01:09 AM
I don't necessarily think the move away from batteries was a bad one. Two AA batteries never seem to last as long as I wanted to back when I was doing marathon sessions of Pokemon Blue or Gold, and there was always the inconvenience of actually needing to turn the game of to get the system powered again. My perspective is probably warped though. My parents got absolutely sick of buying batteries for me, and bought me a big chargeable battery pack.

I don't ever feel tethered or dependent on wall outlets, but I also don't tend to go on incredibly long trips.

I agree, I don't know why some people dislike chargers but I thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread when the SP came out.

I personally love my 3DS. It fits in my purse just fine and I can see the screen now, especially since it has a backlight which older handhelds didn't have. (At least not older Nintendo ones.) I take it everywhere with me and I use it more than any of my home consoles.

Sinjo
08-09-2012, 01:53 AM
I agree, I don't know why some people dislike chargers but I thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread when the SP came out.

I personally love my 3DS. It fits in my purse just fine and I can see the screen now, especially since it has a backlight which older handhelds didn't have. (At least not older Nintendo ones.) I take it everywhere with me and I use it more than any of my home consoles.

Oh god yes. Why the gameboy SP came out, that was a revolution. No more batteries, no more lamps to see at night. For the first bit the backlight burned with the intensity of the sun, but over time it got easier and it was amazing. The only design flaw in that system was the size and shape of it. If it had been shaped like the first gameboy advanced, it would have been perfect.

Bitcoon
10-08-2012, 09:33 PM
Nah, you're just not thinking outside the box. Or, rather, inside the box. OF TECHNOLOGY!

It's simple, really. Those batteries still have juice and if you're thinking there should be a way to get that juice into that brick in your gaming device, well, there's a device for that: http://www.wirelessemporium.com/p-36722-cellet-2x-aa-battery-powered-emergency-cell-phone-charger-w-interc-.asp?source=gbase&gclid=COiMu7Lk8rICFShxQgodzW8AAA

That one's for cell phones but I'm sure there must be something like this for portables. I know of rechargeable external battery packs that do the same thing.

It's never really mattered much to me, though. I tend to play at home most of the time anyway.

Flygon
10-09-2012, 01:20 AM
Most game consoles and phones are designed to have their batteries exchanged (the iPhone being an obvious and painful exception). Worst to worst, just carry multiple batteries and screwdrivers around. :D

RX-149Dragonite
10-09-2012, 01:29 AM
I rather have rechargeable Li-ion batteries than ones I would A. lose most likely, and B. have to throw away when they're used up

As much as I loved running my Gameboy Pocket playing Pokemon Yellow with AAA batteries, they got expensive fast.

RandyDarkshade
11-19-2012, 02:21 PM
I don't think expendable batteries will vanish any time soon, there are plenty of other home devices that still use them today. Such as Torches, bicycle lamps, portable radio's, TV remote controls and many more.

As for portable gaming, yeah, the need for such batteries is gone. I remember when friends used to hunt high and low around their house looking for AA's for the portable games console. lol

Hlavco
11-19-2012, 09:16 PM
I remember the AAA batteries for my Game Boy Pocket (who am I kidding, I brought my Game Boy Pocket to work today), but I also had an AC adapter so when I was at home I could plug it into the wall and play forever.

Xaos Wolf
01-03-2013, 11:27 PM
Ah, the good old days of carrying half a pack of batteries alongside cartridges and such. =)

Though nowadays I try and find any extended battery I can for my portable consoles.
They're sometimes bulky enough to require a case/bag for anyway. (Like the Vita's Powergrip thingy)

Tigercougar
01-04-2013, 12:04 AM
Reminds me of when I'd try to bum 30 minutes off my friend's Sega Nomad. It was RAD being able to play Genesis titles portably, but I'll be damned if the battery juice lasted more than an hour.